Sunday, December 17, 2006

Testing, testing, one, two, three... My resolve is being tested on a daily basis. Mr. Hyde challenges the boundaries I've set every day, trying to make deals, issuing ultimatums, cursing the reality of alcohol's appeal to him. Christmas parties, dinners, entertaining guests are all obstacles on this course to sober living. I will do anything to help the humble man who said, "I want to learn to live without it." That other man can take a long hike off a short pier. He is no longer welcome in the same house where I live. My "enough button" got pushed last Sunday and it hasn't been switched off.

He's missing the companionship of his friend Jon, but they have more going for them than the drinks they shared. Maybe he will learn to concentrate on that. He spent a couple hours with Ron yesterday without drinking anything. Ron has moved his camper to Timberlake, so he went over there. Ron got the wheelchair out of the trunk of Mike's car and pushed him around the whole campground, which took about an hour. Then they sat at the picnic table and "chewed the fat," he said, with neither of them drinking anything.

I finished a good bit of the housecleaning that needed doing. Part of me wants to start baking, but pies, cakes and cookies are to me what alcohol is to Mike. I need to stay completely away from it. I've maintained the weight loss, so far, and don't want to add any over the holidays. It's going to be a tough thing to do.

I don't want to get totally rigid about the eating and drinking problems we have around here, but I do want to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Simplify, simplify, simplify, that's the message I keep getting, from reading, praying, television talk show hosts, etc. And I thought we already lived a fairly simple life. I clipped an article from a Bellsouth newsletter years ago that speaks to this issue.

Finding a way to live the simple life is one of life's supreme complications.
It's difficult to live one day at a time when each day seems to spill over into the next. Then the week-end comes, it's as if several days attack us at once.

One reason for our inability to achieve simplicity is that we clutter our lives with far more things than we actually need. We succumb to the pressures to spend money we don't have, to buy things we don't need, to impress people we don't like. This means that much of our leisure time is spent taking care of things we really didn't want in the first place.

Another reason for our inability to achieve simplicity is that we've made activity our god. We're continuously on the go.

Years ago, if a person missed a train, he simply waited for the next one. Today we become irritated if we miss one section of a revolving door - and then we run up the escalator to make up for lost time.

It's interesting to note that even when we relax a bit and become spectators, we spend most of our time watching other people dash from one end of a playing field to the other, or speed at the Indy 500.

What we need to do is arrange our lives so that there's ample time to be still - to sit still, to observe, to reflect, to absorb, to enjoy, and to learn.
People who seek simplicity and peace learn to choose between what is urgent and what can wait; between what is of great value and what is of little consequence.

They learn the art of selective procrastination - putting off indefinitely what they never really needed to do at all.

Adapted from an article by Dr. Dale E. Turner

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